Plenković: Pupovac Has Distanced Himself from His Previous Statements

By 12 September 2019

ZAGREB, September 12, 2019 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday that Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) leader Milorad Pupovac said "in his own style" that contemporary Croatia had nothing to do with the 1941-1945 NDH regime, and that he actually retracted his claims about Croatia being a factor of instability.

"During his press conference yesterday, Mr. Pupovac stated in his own style things which were articulated differently than those of two weeks ago. He said in his own way that present-day Croatia has nothing to do with the NDH, and that Croatia is not a factor of instability."

"He clearly stated that this government and this (parliamentary) majority are not the ones who create a climate of intolerance," Plenković said at the beginning of his cabinet's meeting.

Commenting on his recent interview that caused public outrage, Pupovac said yesterday that no one needs to ask him not to compare present-day Croatia to the WWII-era Nazi-allied Independent State of Croatia (NDH). "I know the difference very well and that's why I've been living in Croatia for these three decades," the Croatian Serb leader told the news conference.

As for intolerance, Plenković today explained that from Pupovac's point of view, there were people to be blamed for intolerance.

The policy we are pursuing is the policy of (the first Croatian president and HDZ founder) Franjo Tuđman and that policy is one of inclusiveness and reconciliation, Plenković said.

In this context he made it clear that a recent incident in Ceranje Donje, Pupovac's birth place, where insulting graffiti against Serbs and Pupovac appeared, had nothing to do with the policy pursued by his government and the HDZ party.

Plenković said that he could respect different opinions, calling on the public to keep their eyes open to see "who plays which role in this chess game".

The premier underscored that law enforcement and judicial authorities were fast and efficient in dealing with all the incidents that happened in recent months against members of the Serb minority.

The police have identified all the perpetrators under circumstances that were not simple, he said.

All this proves that we function as a state, and this government and the parliamentary majority are working on developing an inclusive society, the premier said.

He also criticised attempts by some political protagonists and parties to polarise the Croatian society and cause divisions.

"This is not my cup of tea," he said.

It is unnecessary and Croatia, which has accomplished all its strategic goals, does not need that, Plenkovicć said, adding that his cabinet is dedicated to improving economic and social standards of citizens.

"That is our duty, and that is also a duty of all our coalition partners," he added.

More news about Milorad Pupovac can be found in the Politics section.